The Longines Legend Diver Ref. L3.7126.96.36.199, or “LLD” for short, is a contemporary redesign of a venerable old classic. In the late 1950s, Longines released the Nautilus Skin Diver. This was their response to an explosion of dive watches at the time. Indeed, the period from the 1950s to the early 1960s gave us some of the most iconic dive watches ever made, such as the Rolex Submariner.
The Legend Diver takes its inspiration primarily from the Reference 7042. However, it also steals the more popular hands from the later 7594 watch. The LLD even comes with a 3 o’clock date window, a modern feature that you couldn’t find on older watches in this series. In fact, the very first production run of the LLD came without a date window, which makes that particular run unique. Finally, the LLD has modern screw-down crowns, which hadn’t been invented when the 7042 was produced.
The Case and Crystal
The Longines Legend Diver has a slim, round profile, with a 42mm diameter and a 12.7mm thickness. This gives it a medium wrist presence, while still keeping the weight to a minimum. Its 22mm lugs accommodate mid-sized straps, allowing for plenty of other options if you don’t like the stock strap. The steel is brightly polished, with a smooth finish and no bezel to speak of. In fact, the steel seems to curve into the side of the crystal prematurely, which makes the already highly-arched crystal seem to pop even further out. The sapphire crystal itself is scratch-resistant, with an anti-reflective inner surface. This makes the dial easy to read, although the arched design will obscure details at a wide angle.
A Rich Monochrome Dial
The Legend Diver’s dial has a classic, monochrome design, with white numerals and indices painted on a black satin lacquered background. The outer index consists of bold hashes, with larger hashes at the five-minute marks. Arabic numerals are sparse, located only at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. At the 3 o’clock position, you’ll find the aforementioned date window. All of the index markings, as well as the date window, are painted with a Super-LumiNova finish that glows bright in the darkness.
The minute hand is similarly painted, with a slim profile and stainless steel skeleton that’s as elegant as it is functional. The hour hand is shorter and broader, with an arrow-shaped Super-LumiNova-coated head and a thicker frame. The second hand is nearly as fine as a needle, and practically invisible in the dark.
A Reliable Movement
The LLD utilizes Longines’ modified ETA Caliber L888 movement. As you might expect, this is a self-winding automatic movement that keeps running as long as it’s being worn. In fact, it will keep running for a good while afterwards. With a 72-hour power reserve, you can take the Legend Diver off on Friday, and put it back on on Monday morning with nearly a full day’s worth of power to spare.
This is an impressive movement, with an accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per day. It’s also very smooth-operating, with a frequency of 25,200 beats per hour.
An Embossed Leather Strap
The Legend Diver comes with an attractive black leather strap, which is stitched around the edges and reinforced with nylon at the lugs. It’s mostly smooth, but the inside is embossed with a Longines logo that you’ll never even notice.
The history of Longines began when it was founded by Auguste Agassiz and two other painters in Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 1832.
For nearly a century and a half, Longines has been crafting precision timepieces out of its workshop high in the Jura mountains designed to serve the needs of adventurers of all stripes. While the brand with the winged hourglass may be most strongly associated with aviation’s early pioneers, Longines has carved its own place in history across countless ventures where precision timing is critical to success. From motorsports to horse racing to alpine skiing, Longines been a crucial part of all these endeavors. When SCUBA diving rose to prominence in the 1950s and 60s, capturing the public’s imagination and ushering in an era of underwater exploration, Longines was once again in the thick of it, producing precision dive watches at home on the wrists of professional and recreational divers alike. The Longines Legend Diver was born from this era, and its newest incarnation doubles down on the vintage styling by reimagining the Legend Diver with a bronze case and deep-green gradient dial.
While the Legend Diver can trace its lineage back to skin divers produced by Longines in the 1950s, the modern incarnation of the line is based on an iconic reference from 1960, the Longines reference 7042. This period in the mid-century was an era of exploration and experimentation, and not just underwater but in watch construction and design, as well. The 7042 was no exception, featuring an oversized (42mm) super-compressor case, inner-rotating bezel, and luminous hands and markers. The super-compressor design is a clever bit of engineering, whereby increasing water pressure increases pressure on the seals — the deeper you go, the tighter the seal. The case design, internal bezel, and dual hash-marked crowns are hallmarks of this style, and these aesthetic cues are all embraced in the current line of Longines Legend Divers.
Since Longines reissued the reference 7042 in the Longines Legend Diver, the watch has become a staple in the brand’s Heritage line, and Longines has produced several iterations in different sizes and finishes. This newest model marks a major departure in both case material and dial color, yet the bronze case and gradient green dial are a natural, organic fit for the watch’s vintage styling. Bronze is an ideal case material for this throwback design, evoking the grandeur and mystique of the early days of skin diving. In addition, bronze allows for an intimate ownership experience, as the watch will naturally patina over time, creating natural shifts in hue and texture that make each watch one-of-a-kind, telling the story of your adventures. Of course, the patina can be easily cleaned off and removed in a matter of minutes, allowing you to reset the clock and tell a new story.
Despite the vintage styling, the bronze Longines Legend Diver doesn’t overlook practicality and modern accouterments. The original reference 7042 featured a Plexiglas crystal, but in the modern iteration, Longines has opted for a highly domed box sapphire crystal that combines the warmth and charm of Plexiglas with the scratch-resistance and clarity of sapphire. Though the case is bronze, the caseback is crafted from titanium and features a re-creation of the original deeply embossed spear diver. To ensure legibility, no matter the time of day or the depth of the dive, the hands and hour markers are coated with Super-LumiNova.
The dial of the bronze Longines Legend Diver retains the styling of the rest of the line, including an internally rotating bezel, Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12, and a distinctive and extremely legible handset. What truly sets this model apart is the deep emerald-green lacquered dial, which darkens to black toward the periphery. The dial is gorgeous; combined with the gilt hands and markers and framed by the bronze case, the effect is captivating and evocative of a bygone era.
Throughout its long history. Longines has created pieces that hove stood the test of time. A reinterpretation of a watch from the forties, The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 is a perfect example. This 40 mm creation reveals an understated dial that will thrill aficionados of the winged hourglass brand.
Longines extends its Heritage segment with a new interpretation, The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946. the reissue of a piece produced in the late 1940s. During this period, the Swiss brand designed a series of elegant timepieces at the cutting edge of technology at that time. Such models. with a timeless, understated style, continue to enthral vintage watchmaking connoisseurs today.
Within the 40 mm stainless steel case of The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 is a self-winding chronograph movement developed exclusively for the brand IL895.51. In keeping with the design of the piece that inspired it, this watch features o domed silvered opaline dial enhanced by two finely sculpted counters, a 30-minute counter and a small seconds counter. The harmonious Arabic numerals, in the italic “dolphin” style characteristic of this period, set the pace for this timepiece. At 12 o’clock, LONGINES lettering is subtly applied to the dial in antique-style characters. The “leaf’-style hands in blued steel bring out the beauty of this elegant piece, topped with an anti-reflection sapphire crystal.
This model is mounted on a semi-matte black leather strap characterised by a soft texture and a resolutely vintage finish.
Simon Baker discovers the Longines universe in Saint-Imier
Longines Ambassador of Elegance and Australian actor Simon Baker visited the company in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, the birthplace of the brand since its inception in 1832. On this special occasion, Simon Baker was warmly welcomed by the employees before having the opportunity to discover the various departments of the headquarters.
Swiss watchmaking brand Longines was proud to welcome Simon Baker, its Ambassador of Elegance since 2012, to its headquarters in Saint-Imier.
During this very special day, Simon Baker had the opportunity to meet with the employees and to go through the complex process of creating a watch as he visited the production workshops.
After having had his very first cheese fondue in a typical Swiss restaurant, Simon had the pleasure to discover the treasures kept in the brand’s museum, which harbours collections representing all facets of Longines’ rich past.
Delighted to witness the watchmaking expertise and to immerge himself into the brand’s history, Simon Baker commented: “Having been part of the Family for seven years, it is overwhelming to finally be here, it puts a very human quality element to the whole brand that resonates directly in me. Being able to feel the love that the watchmakers have for what they do has been very enlightening and inspiring, it moves the product itself to a richer place.”